Statement on Family Separation PolicyBy Tom Udall (D-New Mexico)
tomudall.senate.gov Subsistence is a way of life for tribal communities that depends on passing traditional ecological knowledge down between generations. Today, we are going to talk about modern threats to subsistence, such as climate change. But, it was not that long ago that the major threat to subsistence – to all traditional practices – was the federal Boarding School policy. Members of this committee are well aware that the Boarding School Era is one of this country’s most tragic periods – when presidents and Congress allowed Native children to bear the brunt of federal policies designed to solve the ‘Indian problem.’ And, even though we are decades removed from that misguided era, the impacts of cultural and community disruption still reverberate today. We hear it repeatedly in the testimony of tribal leaders and Native youth who come to speak with the committee.
We cannot – in good conscience and as members of this committee – let this practice disrupt another generation. While the president just announced he would sign an Executive Order ending his inhumane policy of separating families at the border, I remind my colleagues here today that we cannot be too vigilant. And, we must not consider this matter settled until the details of this order are known and every last child is returned to their families. Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) introduced this statement into the record at a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing in Washington, D.C., on June 20, 2018. Udall serves as vice chairman of the committee.
Join the Conversation
Related Stories'Open our communities to them': Doug George-Kanentiio on refugees (June 21 2018)
Cronkite News: Trump reverses course on separation of families (June 21, 2018)
'Locked in cages': James Singer on forced separation of families (June 20, 2018)
Aaron Payment: Innocent children victmized again by our government (June 20, 2018)
'The administration has the power': Trump team defends family separation policy (June 20, 2018)
'I am not shocked': Harold Frazier on forced separation of families (June 19, 2018)
Mark Trahant: Indian Country remembers the trauma of forced separation (June 19, 2018)
Mark Charles: Separating families of color is a long tradition in America (June 18, 2018)